Dancing Around Race Community Reader

This informal collection of sources and resources was assembled over the past year by the artists and thinkers involved in Dancing Around Race. Suggestions, additions and edits are welcome at hopemohr@gmail.com. 

LAST UPDATE: 8/2/2019


Manuel Arturo Abreu, We Need to Talk About Social Practice, Art Practical, March 6, 2019

Wesley Morris, Morality Wars, N. Y. Times Magazine, Oct. 3, 2018

Frock, Christian L. “Hello No, We Won’t Go: Outstanding Radical Art and Global Movements in 2014.” KQED Arts, December 29, 2014. Christine Frocks makes a case for 2014 as a significant year in the creation of “radical art,” broadening the lens of art and performance and offering many examples of Arts for Change, all the while maintaining the position that we must look beyond cultural institutions to see the work as well as its makers.

Geer, Richard Owen. “Out of Control in Colquitt: Swamp Gravy Makes Stone Soup.” TDR vol. 40, No. 2 (Summer 1996). A first person account of creating a community performance in and with the residence of Colquitt, GA, which demonstrates how the various aesthetic attributes play out and are evidenced in real world projects. The story highlights a variety of aesthetic questions and tensions and chronicles their resolution.

Korza, Pam, Barbara Schaffer Bacon, and Andrea Assaf. Civic Dialogue, Arts & Culture: Findings from Animating Democracy. Americans for the Arts, 2005. The chapter on Artistic Practices examines various elements of art and artistic practice to set the conditions for meaningful dialogue, including: metaphor, abstraction, humor, story, nonverbal modes, traditional forms, “community dramaturgy,” among others.

Korza, Pam and Barbara Schaffer Bacon, eds. Dialogue in Artistic Practice: Case Studies from Animating Democracy. Americans for the Arts, 2005. Three case studies about arts-based civic dialogue projects implemented by Cornerstone Theater

Company, Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, and Urban Bush Women analyze artistic concepts and practices in relation to qualities of effective dialogue.

McGregor, Paloma. “Dance and Civic Engagement.” Working Guide Papers on Arts for Change. Americans for the Arts, 2013. Choreographer and organizer Paloma McGregor highlights exemplary contemporary community-based dance practice and concert dance that is intentional in connecting to community members and issues.

Orr, Niela. “Chats About Change: Ethics and Aesthetics.” KCET: February 5, 2015. A summary of highlights from the panel “Pivoting: Ethics and Aesthetics,” as part of the social practice conference Chats About Change: Critical Conversations on Art and Politics in Los Angeles. Conversation focused on the question: How can one mediate the social accountability connoted by ethics and the merits of self-derived aesthetics?


Raja Feather Kelly, The Grant Cycle Is A Biased, Oppressive Lottery—But I'm Still Playing To Win
Maria Cherry Galette Rangel, Making Room for the Unnameable: Notes on the 2017 MAP Fund Grants Review Panel
Helen Sidford, Not Just Money: Equity Issues in Cultural Philanthropy, Helicon Collaborative, 2017
New England Foundation for the Arts, Equitable Grantmaking Toolkit
Animating Democracy, Aesthetic Perspectives Framework: Attributes of Excellence in Arts for Change
Justice Funders, Grantmaking Practices Self-Assessment


Manuel Arturo Abreu, We Need to Talk About Social Practice, Art Practical, March 6, 2019
Zadie Smith, Getting In and Getting Out, Harper’s Magazine, July 2017
Saidiya Hartman, Lose your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route
Brenda Dixon Gottschild, Digging the Africanist Presence in American Performance: Dance and Other Contexts, 1996.
E. Patrick Johnson, "Snap! Culture: A different kind of 'reading'," Text and Performance Quarterly, 1995.
Eric Lott, Love and Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class, 1993.
Jacqueline Shea Murphy, The People Have Never Stopped Dancing: Native American Modern Dance Histories, 2007.


Karma R. Chavez, Queer Migration Politics: Activist Rhetoric and Coalitional Possibilities
Gayatri Gopinath, Impossible Desires: Queer Diasporas and South Asian Public Cultures, 2005.
Kareem Khubchandani, Snakes on the Dance Floor: Bollywood, Gesture, and Gender, The Velvet Light Trap, 2016.
Eng-Beng Lim, Brown Boys and Rice Queens: Spellbinding Performance in the Asias, 2014
Martin F. Manalansan IV, Global Divas: Filiipino Gay Men in the Diaspora, 2003.


David Eng and Alice Hom, ed., Q&A: Queer in Asian America, 1998.
E. Patrick Johnson, Quare' Studies, or (almost) everything I know about queer studies I learned from my grandmother, Callaloo, 2000.
Jaamil Olawale Kosoko, Joy Mariama Smith, Sara Smith and Tara Aisha Willis; moderated by Cassie Peterson, RIFF TALK-ing on Identity and Performance
Lisa Lowe, Immigrant Acts: On Asian American Cultural Politics
Maria Lugones, Toward a Decolonial Feminism
Miguel Gutierrez, Does Abstraction Belong to White People?, BOMB Magazine, November 7, 2018
Susan Manning, Modern Dance, Negro Dance: Race in Motion, 2004.
Wesley Morris, Morality Wars, New York Times Magazine, October 3, 2018
José Esteban Muñoz, Disidentifiations: Queers of Color and the Performance of Politics, 1999.
Jasbir K. Puar, Queer Times, Queer Assemblages, Social Text, 2005.
Ramón Rivera-Servera, Performing Queer Latinidad: Dance, Sexuality, Politics, 2012.

On Whiteness and Abstraction: Anh Vo with Juliana F. May, Critical Correspondence, March 21, 2019
Benedict Nguyen, The Work is Never Done, Brooklyn Rail, December 11, 2018
White Supremacy Culture, From Dismantling Racism: A Workbook for Social Change Groups, by Kenneth Jones & Tema Okun, ChangeWork
Racial Imaginary Institute, The Whiteness Issue
Aruna D'Souza, Whitewalling: Art, Race and Protest in 3 Acts
Laila Lalami, The Identity Politics of Whiteness
Peggy McIntosh, White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
Thomas DeFrantz, i am black (you have to be willing to not know)
Morgan Jerkins, Why Do You Say You’re Black?
Ijeoma Oluo, So You Want to Talk About Race
Sara Ahmed, "A Phenomenology of Whiteness," Feminist Theory, 2007.
Faedra Carpenter, Coloring Whiteness: Acts of Critique in Black Performance, 2014.
Richard Dyer, White, 1997.
Susan Foster, Choreographing Empathy: Kinesthesia in Performance, 2011 ("Introduction" & "Chapter 1: Choreography")
Ruth Frankenberg, "The Mirage of Unmarked Whiteness," in Klinenberg, Nexica, Rasmussen, and Wray, ed. The Making and Unmaking of Whiteness, 2001.
Cheryl Harris, "Whiteness as Property," Harvard Law Review, 1993.
Anthea Kraut, Choreographing Copyright: Race, Gender, and Intellectual Property Rights in American Dance, 2015.
Julian Carter, "The Dance that Will Not Die: Refracting Imperial Whiteness through The Dying Swan," TDR 62:3, 2018.


Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldua, eds., This Bridge Called My Back
Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
Gloria Anzaldua, Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza
Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Spill: Scenes of Black Feminist Fugitivity
Fred Moten, Consent Not to Be a Single Being  
Jose Munoz, Cruising Utopia
Tuck and Yang, The Decolonization of Metaphor


Aesthetic Perspectives
Government Alliance on Race and Equity
Intergroup Resources, Talking About Race Resource Notebook
Racial Imaginary Institute
Center for Social Inclusion’s Talking About Race Toolkit
People’s Institute of Survival and Beyond
Related Tactics